Midterm Elections Updates: Complaint Charges Milwaukee Election Official With Fraud

Midterm Elections Updates: Complaint Charges Milwaukee Election Official With Fraud
Voters turn out to cast their ballots as early voting begins in Atlanta on Oct. 17, 2022. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

The latest on the midterm elections.


Complaint Charges Milwaukee Election Official With Fraud

A former Milwaukee elections official charged Friday with sending fake military ballots to a Republican legislator told investigators she did it because she wanted to expose real vulnerabilities in Wisconsin elections, according to a criminal complaint.

Prosecutors charged Kimberly Zapata, who was fired earlier this week, with felony misconduct in office and three misdemeanor counts of election fraud. She could face up to five years behind bars if convicted of all four counts. Her attorney, Michael Maistelman, declined comment.

The charges come just four days ahead of Election Day and as election officials are increasingly concerned about threats from within their own agencies. Officials in battleground states like Wisconsin are seeing record numbers of partisan poll worker nominations that could land skeptics on the front lines of polling places.

Zapata took over as the Milwaukee Elections Commission’s deputy director this past summer. She told investigators that commission workers have been dealing with threats, harassment, and accusations that they’re lying and hiding things and she was feeling overwhelmed, the complaint said.

On the morning of Oct. 25, she made up three names with fake Social Security numbers and requested military absentee ballots in those names through MyVote Wisconsin, the state’s voter database, the complaint said.

Under Wisconsin law, someone requesting a military absentee ballot does not need to register to vote or provide any photo ID to obtain an absentee ballot. Any request automatically results in a ballot being issued, according to the complaint.


Arizona Secretary of State Candidate Mark Finchem Predicts ‘Red Tsunami’ in Midterm Elections

Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem said he earned the title “Arizona’s most dangerous man” because he stands for election integrity.

Finchem, wearing a campaign cap, described his recent encounter with Twitter censors who suspended his account on Oct. 31 for precisely 41 minutes.

“One of my posts offended somebody in the halls of Twitterdom, and they banned us. They put us in Twitter jail.”

But a quick call to Twitter drew the attention of new owner Elon Musk.

“His response—immediately, by the way—was, ‘I’m going to look into this.’ Forty-one minutes later, we were reinstated,” Finchem said to applause, “… but wait, there’s more.

“We started the day with 52,000 followers on Twitter. We’re now up to 74,000 and some change. It is an example of how it backfires every time the Democrats come out and try to do something to control the narrative.”

Finchem said the Twitter debacle indicates change on the horizon—not only at Twitter but across the country in what he sees as a “red tsunami” of Republican electoral victories on Nov. 8.

“We know that Independents are breaking our way. We’re going to see a tsunami of red on voting day,” Finchem told The Epoch Times.

“You’ve got people coming along who don’t trust the postal service. They don’t trust the drop boxes. So they’re going to do it the old-school way [voting in person]. It’s an organic change.”

Read the full article here


Fetterman Draws Praise From ‘The View’

A day after gaining the endorsement of celebrity talk show personality Oprah Winfrey, Pennsylvania Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman drew abundant praise from hosts of “The View” during his Nov. 4 appearance on the program.

Fetterman suffered a stroke days before the May primary, cast his ballot from a hospital room, and is still recovering.

Fetterman was “incredibly courageous and brave” for debating Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz on Oct. 25, Sunny Hostin said.

“I think you look and sound great,” Hostin said.

“It’s clear your post-stroke troubles are not cognitive and would not hinder you as a senator,” co-host Sara Haines added.

Read the full article here


Arizona County Official Questioned in Court About Hand-Count Plan

An official from a rural Arizona county who has been tapped to hand-count all the ballots from next week’s election was questioned in court Friday by lawyers representing a group of retirees suing to block the effort.

Cochise County Recorder David Stevens said he has plans to count four races on about 40,000 ballots using more than 250 volunteers he’s recruited from three political parties starting after voting ends Tuesday. The Republican vowed to follow the law on how the much smaller hand-count audits are normally done to check machine vote-counting equipment. But he acknowledged he’s bypassing the county elections director, who by law oversees the process and is responsible for holding the ballots.

And responding to questions from the lawyer for the Arizona Alliance of Retired Americans, Lalitha Madduri, Stevens said he planned to count an estimated 30,000 early ballots despite provisions in the law that limit early ballot hand-count audits to 1 percent or 5,000 ballots, whatever is less, and that they be randomly selected. That bars a full count of the early votes, she said.

“The board did authorize me to do it,” Stevens said. “The court will decide if it’s legal or not. But they did vote, it was a two-to-one vote, they voted for me to do this and a 100 percent count.”


More Than 34 Million People Have Voted Already as Researchers Reveal States With Most Pre-Election Ballots

More than 34 million pre-midterm ballots have been cast in more than 45 states, according to data from election officials and researchers.

The U.S. Election Project, a University of Florida program that compiles state voting data, shows that 35.5 million people have voted in 44 states as of Friday. Meanwhile, officials with Edison Research and Catalist told CNN that 34.6 million have voted as of Friday in 47 states.

Early voting for 2022 is ahead of the 2018 pace across the states where data is currently available as compared with the past three midterms. However, it’s too early to determine whether the turnout will reach the same levels as in 2018 as there are still several more days to go before the Tuesday, Nov. 8 contest.

Read the full article here


Former Wisconsin Election Official Charged After Sending Fake Military Ballots Ahead of Midterms

A Wisconsin election official who was fired this week has been charged with making false statements over her alleged sending of fake military ballots to another person.

Kimberly Zapata, the just-fired Milwaukee Election Commission deputy director, was charged with misconduct in public office and making false statements to obtain absentee ballots, according to a criminal complaint obtained by The Epoch Times.

Zapata faces up to five years, and a fine of up to $13,000, if convicted.

Read the full article here


Best-Case 2022 Midterms Scenario Revealed for Democrats

A top election forecaster predicted Friday that the Democrats’ best chance of maintaining control of the Senate is a 50–50 tie, which is the current setup.

Currently, Democrats have a majority over Republicans in the 50–50 Senate. Vice President Kamala Harris serves as a tie-breaker for Democrats.

“Our final Senate outlook shows Republicans with late momentum. Our most probable range is now D+0 to R+3 pickups. Dems’ best shot to hold the majority is to stay 50-50. Republicans could get to 52 seats, or 53 in a huge wave,” Cook Political Report editor Jessica Taylor wrote.

Read the full article here


GOP Politicians Out the Texas Tribune After the News Organization Targets Conservative Churches

As next week’s midterm elections quickly approach, a war is brewing in Texas between a nonprofit news organization and at least one pastor. 

The Texas Tribune and ProPublica are inviting readers to report conservative church leaders who endorse specific candidates for election, but that isn’t stopping Robert Jeffress from encouraging his parishioners to vote according to their biblical beliefs.

“This Sunday [Nov. 6] in our church, I’m going to end just like I did in 2020 by encouraging people to vote their biblical convictions, acknowledging we don’t endorse candidates, but we do endorse Christians standing up against the godless agenda of the Left,” he said.

Read the full article here


McCarthy Says ‘No Place’ Republicans Can’t Compete in 2022 Midterm

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) expressed confidence in Republicans regaining control of the chamber, saying there is “no place” they can’t compete in next week’s midterm election.

“We never take anything for granted, but I feel good because of the quality of the candidates we have running from Rhode Island to New Hampshire to Connecticut to Oregon to Washington to Arizona to California,” McCarthy said. “There is no place we can’t compete, and that’s what is exciting.”


Fetterman Compares Jan. 6 Capitol Breach to 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman on Nov. 2 compared the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol breach to the 9/11 terrorist attacks that left nearly 3,000 Americans dead and launched the United States into a decades-long war in Afghanistan.

Fetterman made the remark while speaking at a campaign event in Erie County, Pennsylvania, asking Selena King, a political strategist who moderated the event, whether she watched the events of the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally live on television and how it affected her emotionally.

“I was shocked that that happened, and especially being a person of color,” King said, claiming that “if they were people of color, it would have been totally different.”

Read the full article here


Oprah Endorses Fetterman Over Oz

Oprah Winfrey on Thursday endorsed Democrat John Fetterman in Pennsylvania’s hotly contested Senate race and rejected Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, whom she had helped launch to stardom nearly two decades ago when she brought him on her popular daytime talk show as a regular guest.

Until now, Winfrey had said she would leave the election to Pennsylvanians, but she changed that position in an online discussion on voting in next Tuesday’s election.

”I said it was up to the citizens of Pennsylvania and of course, but I will tell you all this, if I lived in Pennsylvania, I would have already cast my vote for John Fetterman for many reasons,” Winfrey said, before going on to urge listeners to vote for Democrats running for governor and Senate in various states.

The Pennsylvania seat has for months been seen as the most likely pickup opportunity for Democrats in the evenly divided Senate.

Polls show a close race between Fetterman and Oz, a celebrity heart surgeon who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

In a sign of how high the stakes are, Trump will return to Pennsylvania on Saturday to campaign for Oz, while President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama will campaign for Fetterman that same day.


Americans Won’t Vote for Candidates Who Support Youth Transgender Procedures: Poll

The vast majority of Americans will not vote for candidates who support transgender procedures for minors, a recent survey finds.

According to a recent national survey, 72.7 percent of American voters say they are not likely to vote for a candidate who supports allowing minors to use puberty blockers or to undergo sex-change surgeries Only 27.4 percent said they are likely to vote for candidates who support transgender procedures for children. Among Republicans, the margin is 96.5 to 3.5 percent. Among independents, the margin is 79.2 percent to 20.7 percent. Among Democrats, 57.3 percent are likely to support candidates who favor gender transition procedures while 42.7 percent would not.


Man Charged With Threatening to Kill Republican Gubernatorial Candidate

A Chicago man has been arrested and charged after authorities say he left threatening voicemails for a Republican gubernatorial candidate.

Scott Lennox, 21, said in one message that he was going “to skin Darren Bailey alive” after killing the candidate’s family, according to a filing from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office that was obtained by The Epoch Times.

“He better kill himself and if he doesn’t, I am going to kill him,” Lennox said.

Read the full article here


Biden Calls on Young Voters in US West as Midterms Near

President Joe Biden urged young voters in New Mexico and California on Thursday to vote to protect democracy as part of his final major campaign swing, days ahead of midterm elections that could see his Democrats lose control of the U.S. Congress.

Biden’s U.S. West tour began in Albuquerque, where he spoke on his proposed cancellation of billions of dollars in student debt and criticized record oil company profits as Democrat candidates nationwide face headwinds on high gasoline prices and inflation.

Speaking at MiraCosta College in Oceanside, California, where Democrat Mike Levin is fighting to hold onto a seat historically held by Republicans, Biden underscored the importance of state and local races across the country and said they could “determine whether our democracy is sustained.”


Biden Says Winners of Midterm Election Won’t Be Known ‘Until After a Few Days’ in Some Cases

President Joe Biden said in a recent speech that, in some cases, the results of the upcoming midterm election won’t be known for several days, with his remarks recalling the controversy of the 2020 presidential election when then President Donald Trump claimed that the lack of final results on election night could be a sign of something nefarious.

Biden made the remarks during a Democratic National Committee event at Union Station in Washington on Nov. 2, in which he claimed that some Republicans were preparing to question the results of the upcoming election.

“Extreme MAGA Republicans aim to question not only the legitimacy of past elections, but elections being held now and into the future,” Biden said.

Read the full article here


Huawei Lobbyist Gives Thousands to Democrats’ Midterm Campaigns

A lobbyist for a Chinese company deemed a national security threat has donated thousands of dollars to at least eight Democratic congressional campaigns.

Thomas Green, senior counsel at multinational law firm Sidley Austin and top lobbyist for Chinese telecom giant Huawei, personally contributed more than $10,000 across eight Democratic campaigns in the last month, according to data from OpenSecrets, a nonprofit group that tracks political spending.

The contributions were made primarily to Democratic campaigns in battleground states or where the Democratic contender was otherwise struggling.

Read the full article here


Michigan Supreme Court Reinstates Jocelyn Benson’s Election Guidance Manual

The Michigan Supreme Court on Thursday allowed local election clerks to use new poll challenger guidelines issued by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in the form of a manual, which a judge had previously found to violate the law.

The high court’s ruling temporarily stops an Oct. 20 ruling by a Michigan Court of Claims judge that found Benson, a Democrat, had “exceeded [her] authority” in certain parts of a new election manual published in May.

That Michigan judge’s now-paused order had blocked Benson’s new manual, which required increased credentialing for poll challengers and banned personal electronic devices in absentee counting boards.

Read the full article here


Man Charged After Confronting GOP Senate Candidate Before New Hampshire Debate

Authorities in New Hampshire have charged a man for approaching Republican Senate candidate Donald C. Bolduc moments before his Nov. 2 debate against incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), police say.

Joseph Hart, 37, of Greenville, Rhode Island, was taken into custody and charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct following a “disturbance” outside the New Hampshire Institute of Politics late on Nov. 2, the New Hampshire Goffstown Police Department said in a statement on Thursday.

Hart was “processed and released on personal recognizance bail” and is scheduled to be arraigned in early December at the Goffstown District Court, according to police.

Read the full article here


Trump Drops Major Hint About Running for President in 2024

Former President Donald Trump on Nov. 3 gave arguably the clearest signal that he plans to run for president in 2024, telling supporters in an Iowa rally that they should “get ready.”

“And now, in order to make to make our country successful, and safe, and glorious, I will very, very, very, probably do it again, OK?” Trump said. “Very, very, very probably.”

The crowd at the rally cheered in response, erupting in chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!”


Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Legal Fight Over Candidacy Closes Ahead of Midterms

A federal appeal court ruled Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), incited by a challenge to her candidacy eligibility, as the dispute was no longer active given her spot on the ballot in the midterm election.

The Republican congresswoman sued Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in April to prevent Georgians from being able to challenge her, as a candidate, eligibility to run for reelection. It was not until Nov. 3 that a three-judge panel dismissed the case as moot in an unsigned opinion (pdf), noting Greene was not disqualified as a candidate and is presently on the ballot for the upcoming election.

“Accordingly, we no longer have the ability to accord Rep. Greene meaningful relief. We therefore hold that this case is moot,” the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in the papers.


Allan Stein, Jeff Louderback, Zachary Stieber, Frank Fang, Rita Li, Patricia Tolson, Caden Pearson, Lorenz Duchamps, Andrew Thornebrooke, Tom Ozimek, Dorothy Li, Juliette Fairley, Jack Phillips, The Associated Press, and Reuters contributed to this report. 

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